November  2010 Letters to the Editor

New Letters to the Editor....11.18.2010 11:00 am

NPS releases Final Environmental Impact Statement on ORV plan

How can you possibly thing it's OK/fair to ban all night beach driving. Or did I read this incorrectly?

Arnold Farber
Mechanicsville, Va.

This whole thing is absolutely insane, but the most insane part is closing Ramp 23. Can someone please explain why this is necessary? Other than the Point, this is probably the most used access on the island!

Ken Yount
Wentworth, N.C.

Thank you for reporting so promptly and with a good basic synopsis of the pertinent information that many of us are so concerned with. I am a bit disappointed at this initial stage about informing ourselves of the content. A lot of reading to do. Looks like we have more work to do.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of us got paid to read all this? We just get to pay our taxes to support the bureaucracy bringing this upon us and then get to donate our time and money to fight it in an attempt to prevent the taking of our rights and privileges from us. Doesn't make sense to us. Maybe it does to others. Please look us in the eye and tell us what it is that we don't understand.

Ron and Cecile Saunders
Virginia Beach, Va., and Kill Devil Hills

Every time I look at the latch-hook rendering of the Outer Banks that my wife finally completed a few years ago, I think back to all of the great times we had there, especially on Ocracoke, over the 30 years of our marriage.  Even as the area changed over the years (more people with fancier tastes), we would continue to return.  We haven't been back since the consent decree took effect and it looks like we never will.  All I can say is "Good Luck" to the islanders as, one by one, their businesses and livelihoods fail because of the drop in tourism.  I will always remember when.

Sam Bricker
Smithsburg, Md.

Let's not mince words. Alternative F violates the charter that created CHNRA.
Mike Murray should be put in jail and the so called "National Park Service" should be disbanded for this conversion of public parkland into a special interest refuge.
How can be allowed to happen in a democratic society?

Steve Coleman
Severna Park, Md.

If I am understanding these regulations correctly, drum season is no more! Nighttime is the best fishing for these fish due to the fact they do not like light. Why could we not have a permit to drive at night after an educational course? If it is because of the turtles, there are alternatives that could be implemented within common reasoning that would surely make the rest of the plan a lot easier to swallow, which  everyone involved could live with.

Being that Hatteras and its sister islands are know the world over for its large drum and the only place to catch them consistently. As an avid fisherman and conservationist, I see no reason why this modification would not be a great help in keeping the public relations between the parties involved and the respect of each other as well as the protection of the beach in tact.

Wayne White
Fredericksburg, Va.

No driving 9 p.m. until 7 p.m.? If my vehicle is on the beach after 9 p.m., and I plan to fish through the night and not drive, am I legal?

I fish here six to nine months a year and support permits so long as the cost is reasonable.  We hope that the education procedures will be in writing on the issued permit just like the night beach driving permits.

Joe Ouellette
Laconia, N.H.

The North Carolina state park people have stopped night driving on Fort Fischer Beach, and now the NPS is doing the same with the OBX? You folks really do believe you are the kings, and we the taxpayers are the serfs. A revolution is coming!

Robert Jiampetti
Wilmington, N.C.

Sounds a lot like the Obamacare bill -- lots of pages and of things that may be construed in different ways. There’s got to be a simpler solution with more input from the fishing community and not cow towing to the enviros
You are dealing with the future recreational fishing in the prime fishing area on the East Coast. Why can't we all get along?

Joe Roy
Felton, Del.

What about access for the handicapped or disabled folks, such as myself? Does this mean if you’re not physically able or fit enough, you’re out of luck. Unless I missed something, it didn't say anything about that group of beach lovers, fisherpeople, shellers, etc. Our society has made special laws to provide accessibility to the above mentioned part of our society. What provisions have the powers that be made for the handicapped or physically challenged so we to can enjoy prime areas of our recreational areas of the beach? Last year I had to sit in my truck and watch as people more fortunate than I physically walked to the better areas to fish or hunt for shells. The result was they caught fish and found shells while I sat in my truck. Thank you for your help in this matter, as it will make a difference on whether I plan to return to Cape Hatteras National Seashore. I might add in closing, what a waste of such a wonderful resource that exists nowhere else!

Mark Lamphier
Fredericksburg, Va.

Nice to see you are keeping up on this. How did you hear about it? I am a regular visitor to and have been "sort of" following this plan for a while. Basically, the redneck locals want unlimited access and the environmentalists want to eliminate all beach driving. Being the moderate that I am, I think there can be a compromise in the middle. The main problem is that 20 years ago there weren't very many vehicles driving on the beach, and there was much less environmental impact. Now, Hatteras Island is so crowded it can't sustain the open access policy that has been in place for decades.
It's funny hearing the locals complain about the NPS and their restrictions. If the locals weren't such greedy, money-hungry idiots, the Outer Banks would still be the awesome place that it used to be. Instead, they've completely sold out to the developers and the Outer Banks are now littered with these huge mansions that house 10 families (and 10 SUVs each) -- and all of them want to drive on the beach.
It's a shame really. Progress is good in some respects, but I still wish the OBX was like it was 20 years ago.
Mike Farrall

This is plain and simple confiscation of our rights and more broken promises by the government. I was hoping not to see this day --- but now I want to live long enough to see the day when this "environmentally sensitive" gem of an island suddenly becomes more valuable to us as a natural resource ---- for fossil fuel.

I will see the bird and turtle advocates go down kicking and screaming -- with the boot in their faces. This is an interim move allowing corrupt judges to line the pockets of their immoral fraternity brothers -- and no doubt their own as well.

Ranger Rick and Smokey the Bear have become the Legacy of Darkness. In the name of protecting wildlife, they have us groveling for a slight access here and there, while gassing thousands of Canada geese and slaughtering mammals on behalf of a non-native bird.

For those of you who believe that this has anything to do with conservation --- bless you children. The rest of us will just fall in line with the other sheep.

Al Adam

After 39 years of wonderful memories of fishing at Hatteras with friends, I'm sorry to hear that this last October, 2010 visit may be the last thanks to the NPS’ latest decree.  By the way, when did beachfront houseowners have their property lines extend to the ocean, except when the ocean is under their houses?

Cameron Gray
Burkeville, Va.

As a property owner and avid sportsman, I am more and more disillusioned by the government that is supposed to work for us and our better interests. You are doing just the opposite by taking away our rights one at a time. I used to think that trying to preserve our natural resources was the thing to do. I and everyone I know and have ever talked to had the same train of thought. Now I think we are better off being without the nature we tried so hard to protect. I will tell you right now that if I ever see a certain species of wildlife in trouble, I will do whatever I can to promote its demise.

Albert Paoletti

Our family has vacationed in Ocracoke every summer for the past 30 years. For the first time, last summer's trip was not enjoyable due to the closing of the North Point and other areas. This caused overcrowding at the open beaches and a hike to access them. We may no longer travel to the Outer Banks because of this ridiculous issue. Close off Pea Island and leave the others alone.

Jo Lyons
State College, Pa.

Here come catch shares: How NOAA and the Environmental Defense Fund plan to destroy North Carolina’s working watermen

Thank you for publishing this enlightening and informative article, as well as for providing the contact information for our elected officials.

H. Williams

Warrenton, N.C.

Great. This is the fishing version of cap and trade. 2012 can't come soon enough.

Scot's Grove

I've been fighting at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to change Bering Sea Crab Rationalization, which privatized the crab fisheries.  We have asked repeatedly to allocate shares to crewmen so they might receive fair and equitable compensation for their labors, but they have turned a deaf ear on us.

The Bering Sea Crab Rationalization Program was a fašade to improve safety and biological need so that LLP owners could be gifted over $1 billion in quota share for Bering Sea crabs. Plus the ability to override U.S. antitrust laws so that seafood processors could control the right to process 90 percent of the Bering Sea crab landings.  Crab Ratz was pushed by Alaska Crab Coalition, North Pacific Crab Association, Ben Stevens, Trevor McCabe, and others who inspired ex-senator Ted Stevens’ appropriations pen to be the letter of the law.

 Jim Stone wrote in his op-ed piece (in October, 2010 Pacific Fishing magazine) that after five years, Bering Sea (BS) crab catch shares are a keeper.  I guess if you were one of 50-60 fish magnates who received millions of dollars in BS quota and who charges 50-80 percent leases on the crab quotas fished, you’d be wanting to keep your million-dollar portfolio multiplying at the expense of ripping off the crew and vessel owners from making fair and equitable compensation too. 

Let’s get one thing straight. A fishermen prepares his boat, goes to sea, makes his catch, and returns to sell his product.  I have been actually fishing for 32 years, since I was 14 years old.  I’ve fished for salmon, halibut, cod, and crabs from the end of the Aleutians to St. Mathews Island, Bering Sea to the Gulf of Alaska.  I have 24 years experience fishing the Bering Sea for crab on deck and in the wheelhouse.

I don’t count owning a vessel and sitting at home as an investor as being a fisherman. Apparently, Mr. Stone and many like him, act like they been out fishing for 32 years at sea.  I could use many expletives to call him out, but we all know he’s not telling the truth.  This is explains why he doesn’t tell the truth about crewmen not being paid fair, safety not being improved, the future biological problems and that it would have been easy to just put a 100 pot limit or less into regulation without costing the taxpayers of America millions of dollars to build this most cumbersome program that only benefits him and his 50 fish magnates.

Let’s start with the root of the problem -- too many boats chasing too little crab.  In the mid-1980s as the crab vessel owners witnessed Alaska halibut and sablefish fisheries being privatized, many of them knew it would be a race for history for crab next.  Many crab boat owners went to the Gulf of Mexico and bought mud-boats with 5 percent loans from the U.S. government so that they would have two vessels racing to catch crab andso when histories were used to convert into quota, they would increase their future portfolios. This is about the same time that proposed pot limits were discussed at the Alaska Board of Fisheries meetings.  The lobby to gain higher pot limits for larger vessels prevailed, so smaller vessels were disadvantaged and had less of a chance to catch as much crab.

Stone goes on about boats going potentially bankrupt, but isn’t that the natural progression of business -- some make it and some don’t?  It’s not the job of the U.S. government to bail out fishermen who make bad investments.  There was nothing of value to protect, so why let 50-60 guys get rich at the expense of U.S. fishermen and the taxpayer?

Shawn C. Dochtermann
Kodiak, Alaska

Thanks for this great article and for telling us what this really means. I live in Florida, and this is already affecting my state.  Will be reaching out to my reps. 

Palm Coast, Fla.

Thank you, Ernie, for such a very informative article on yet another way governmental agencies are trying to dictate how we earn a living in the fishing industry and how devastating this new program would be for North Carolina and, certainly, our local fishermen here on Hatteras Island. When will this needless influx of dictation by the government end? We need to speak up and say "NO MORE" and make sure this does not happen.

Lorraine H. Burrus

Out here on the West Coast, I have watched the catch shares program developed by ED.

I think the fishing community needs to create a way to document the way this program is manipulating the stakeholder process and eroding the fishery management process.
My first hand experience is that you cannot work with people that are not honest.

Out here on the West Coast, there is no support for catch shares from the fishing ports.

We need to advance and alternative theory.

I say that conservation and stewardship are products of people who apply a merit system to democracy and good deeds in your fishing community.

Chris Miller
Los Alamos, Calif.

Somehow, this must be stopped. NOAA, NMFS, EDF are a bunch of control freaks. They seem to want to stop all fishing at some point in time. This is just a beginning. Catch shares are just the tip of the iceberg. It sure will not stop there, once they get it going. All fishermen need to unite fast on this one or all will lose. It’s not a commercial, charter, recreational thing. It involves us all!

Paul Rudar
Midland, Pa.

Great column, Ernie.  Anyone reading this who likes to fish or even go to the coast and enjoy all the things that go with fishing (good restaurants, quiet motels, beach access, nice people, and the list goes on) needs to wake up and get involved.  North Carolina and Massachusetts are not going to defeat this catch share program alone. We need help from every coastal state and anyone who likes to visit the coast.  You must write, call, or e-mail your senators and representatives and tell them you are opposed to catch shares.

Rom Whitaker

Mr. Foster's summary of catch shares confirms almost everything I have heard and know about them. I own and operate a snapper/grouper fishing business. I have spoken with the Environmental Defense Fund several times about the issues facing our fishery. I explained how the lack of Trip Poundage Limits (TPLs) to wisely manage the low quotas created derby fisheries. The derby fisheries force fishermen to catch as many fish as we can as quickly as we can before the quota is filled. One species after another is made illegal to sell when the quota is met and that fishery is closed. This creates by-catch that must be discarded, dead or alive, and takes your freedom to eat those fish. Many of the discarded fish die slowly from decompression damage, stress, and infection. This also forces fishermen to stay at sea longer and in worse weather to catch enough legal fish to pay the bills. All of this drastically cuts our income and greatly increases our chances of injury or death!

I asked EDF to stand with commercial fishermen to demand the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council use Trip Poundage Limits to wisely manage the low quotas. The TPLs would allow fishermen to catch some of each species throughout the entire year. This would give the consumer a dependable supply of safe American seafood, almost eliminate by-catch, and help fishermen survive the rebuilding process. I thought EDF was just blissfully ignorant of the unintended consequences the lack of TPLs caused. They told me that EDF wanted catch shares and would not support TPLs even though they would have many of the same benefits. EDF claims to want from catch shares. I even told them that I was willing to work with them on catch shares. The TPLs could be put in place today and the catch share scam will take years to fully implement.

 They still refused and their blissful ignorance turned to malicious intent to create by-catch, financially ruin fishermen, and hurt our families in order to get us to accept catch shares. They do not have the best interest of the fish, fishermen, or consumers in mind. They seem to only have their money and intoxicating power to rule their fellow man in mind. Please check out my website to learn more about what is happening and what you can do to help Please remember that this is not just our freedom to responsibly harvest this great nation's resources, it is your freedom to access safe American seafood or even take your kids fishing in the future. If anyone at EDF reads this, you know how to contact me, and I am still willing to be part of the catch share discussion if you will support TPLs in the mean time.

Chris McCaffity
Morehead City

I am a recreational fisherman and own a home in Morehead City.  I am opposed to catch shares and believe all individuals should have the right to enjoy our natural resource as we have in the past without significant government restrictions on users.  I do believe in conservation and protection of the resource, but not the restriction as the catch shares outline.

Elbert Lynn Hudson
Greenville, N.C.

What fish will catch shares affect? Are you suggesting that all species of fish and shellfish will eventually be covered by this and, if so, when?

Claremont, N.C.

The entire concept of catch shares is shocking!  We spend 2-3 vacations at Hatteras, fish recreationally, on the headboat, and the charter boats.  The life and work these captains of the boats lead is hard enough as it is. The government needs to stay out of it!  Let life go on as it has for generations for the wonderful Hatterasmen.

Beth Saylor
Churchville, Va.

As a small boat inshore gillnetter, I have seen first hand what this insane policy has done to the fisherman of my city. This time of year, the fleet of boats would be steaming to the grounds for a day of fishing. You would see 40-50 stern lights from the shore. Now, you see two or three. What catch shares has done is destroy a way of life in my city. For the first time in my life, I had to buy fish to keep going. This is madness!

William Skrobacz
Gloucester, Mass.

I  support the fight against catch shares.

Lewis Smith
Winston Salem, N.C.

Catch shares sound like all programs dreamed up by people with only a periphery connection, if that, with the activity affected -- misinformed, misguided, and outrageous.

Joe Ward
Louisville, Ky.

Highlight of the season will be ‘Nights in Rodanthe’ holiday open house

We love Hatteras and spend a lot of time there. We, too, love the people there. So glad you are doing something for the Cancer Foundation. Wish we were there for the tour, but my husband is in the hospital in Boston. I hope and pray that you will get a good turnout. You're doing a "good thing"

Margaret M Windzio
Westfield, Mass.

Island Living: In defense of a world without Walmart

I really enjoy your writing.  You have great style!  I think you'll go far. 

Kelly Garner
Alexandria, Minn.

Public comment period is open on proposed public boating access at Hatteras

Great idea for a public ramp and dock. I've been coming to the Outer Banks for 35 years and either have to rent a dock or pay daily ramp fees for my boat. This proposal would be welcome relief from the daily expense and loading and unloading in a marina.  Go for it!

John L. Mark
Liverpool, Pa.

Romantic winter relationships on the islands: A survivors’ guide

Love it, Joy! Keep them coming. It may keep you out of trouble this winter!  Ha!

Debbie Scott

Testing water quality of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake harbor is underway

Thanks to Pat Garber for writing this good report about the water testing in Silver Lake Harbor. I wish that I could volunteer with this effort. I am grateful to all who are involved. Please keep us informed.

Anne Runyon
Garner and Ocracoke, N.C.

Three Hatteras villages will be voting on mixed drinks on Dec. 7

Vote no. Liquor is too strong. If a drunk driver wanders from his or her lane on Highway 12, it's a head-on collision! That’s unlike other parts of America where there are two, three, four, or five lanes, and it's a sideswipe.

Jack Tinneny
Yorktown, Va.

Two amazing nights on Hatteras with the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore

Hi my name is Audra. I'm under my mom’s e-mail because I'm 10! So when Jim Cantore was in Hatteras, it was Monday, July 13, which was my birthday. And, well, Jim Cantore is one of my idols, and I want to be a meteorologist just like him. It's my dream to meet him -- if only it would someday come true!!!!

Hilliard, Ohio

League of Women Voters responds to tone of 2010 election

The impact of election 2010 goes far deeper than which party controls the House or the Senate.  The incivility and tone of the 2010 campaign reached a disturbingly new low in American politics.  Not only was this evident in the advertising, but we also saw it in candidate debates and forums and in the public discourse.  Voters were overwhelmed by the millions of dollars in negative ads but didn’t know who paid for many of them.

This election demonstrated the critical need to improve our governmental structures.  Because of the failure of Congress to act, there are no disclosure requirements governing the huge amounts of money that the Supreme Court recently turned loose in American politics.  Voters don’t know if their elected officials are in Washington to serve the public interest or the special interests.  Congress must pass the Disclose Act, which would restore transparency to U.S. elections by requiring disclosure of corporate and union spending in candidate elections.

Voters, not money, should be the center of our democracy.  The challenges we face together in our towns and in our nation, will require our continued vigilance.  As a leader of the Dare County League of Women Voters, I work year-round to safeguard democracy and improve civility at all levels of government.  As the League’s work continues, I invite others in the community to commit to civic improvement by joining the League.  Together we can keep our community strong, healthy, and vibrant.

Audrey Esposito, co-president
League of Women Voters of Dare County

Reader enjoys The Island Free Press

First, I wanted to tell you that I enjoy your publication so much and immediately open it as soon as it shows in my inbox. Thank you for what you do! It makes me feel connected to my beach community and friends during the off-season. My family celebrated our 25th summer on Ocracoke this year!

New Letters to the Editor....11.09.2010 2:30

20 years ago a runaway dredge tore a hole in the Bonner Bridge, and islanders and visitors relied on temporary ferries for months

Twenty years ago, I was sales manager at Courtesy Ford-Moyock and living in Currituck.  We had a cottage rental on Ocracoke and didn't know if NCDOT would be able to reconnect the islands in time for us.  We left Moyock on faith and, lo and behold, with time spent waiting at the docks, made it all the way down thanks to everybody pitching in to make life bearable for island folk and visitors alike.

Fast forward 20 years, and we're now looking at moving back permanently to Hatteras (at last!).

Thanks for the memories with more sure to come!

Mike McMahon
Columbus, Ohio

We were there taking a leisurely vacation on Hatteras Island.  We went to dinner in Nags Head and saw the same sight ( the barge very close to the bridge) at about 10:30 p.m. when we were returning to Avon.  Then, in the early a.m., we heard the news.  We were 48 hours on the road evacuating via Ocracoke.  We'll NEVER forget it. It was survival of the fittest.

Ken Newman
Prince George, Va.

My wife and her sister’s family came down in three cars in a five-hour trip from Arlington, Va. It was another four hours before our car got onto the ferry, and we were told we would be the last until the wind calmed. What a ride! It did take an hour. The ferry taking a switchback route to the other side made the journey surprisingly long. Once we got back onto Highway 12, we, and everyone else, drove pell-mell down the road. We started dinner once we reached the rental in Salvo after debating on what to do about everyone else not being there. As it turned out, they showed up just as the T-bone steaks and baked potatoes came out of the oven. Unforgettably, the best first night’s supper of all time.

Michael Shoemaker
Arlington, Va.

I was pregnant and caught off the island visiting my brother in D.C.  I had to come home through Swan Quarter and Ocracoke. Taking the ferry to various doctor’s appointments made for an interesting time. 

Carol Busbey

An accurate resume except for the worker who died in the course of building the ramp at Oregon Inlet.

Richard Piche
Montreal, Quebec

A romantic couple are the first to wed at the newly relocated and renovated Serendipity

As a friend of the family, I thought it was truly pleasurable to witness the happiness of Brian and Paula on their special day. It was truly a beautiful experience. The island was breathtaking, the atmosphere was joyful, the couple's attire very elegant. It was a day that will surely go down as a memorable event to both the bride and groom and their elated families.

Linda Austin
Bellingham, Mass.

I was able to be a guest at the wedding of Paula and Brian Jones, and I can only say that it was the most romantic wedding I have been to in a long time. It was also my first visit to the Outer Banks, and I want to say what a wonderful time I had.  Everyone I met and everywhere I went, I felt as if I had been there before and was returning to old friends. I see in the future many more trips there. Everyone should take a visit to the Inn at Rodanthe and see what the new owners have done to it. It was not only gorgeous, but warm and friendly also. I can't say enough about my trip there. Thank you for a wonderful -- but too short -- vacation.

Gale Arp
Conneaut, Ohio

The wedding was so beautiful, and Brian and Paula are a beautiful couple with a dream of love and happiness. Thank you for making our first wedding at Serendipity a wonderful event for us all.  Thank you to Bonnie Rowe with Vacation Traditions for helping the couple with all the arrangements. Also, thank you, Don Bowers, for such wonderful coverage and the beautiful pictures, even though you were battling a kidney stone. And, Irene Nolan, we love you and hope you also feel better soon.

Debbie Huss
Serendipity owner
Newton, N.C.

What a beautiful wedding. The setting was absolutely perfect. Thank you for sharing your day.  We love Cape Hatteras!

Rita Nickles
Dalton, Ohio

This is so exciting to see online.  I stayed in Avon with my sister and brother-in-law the week of Oct. 17, and when we left on Saturday, the day of the wedding, we stopped to see the new location of the house.  We were in Avon last year at the same time and also visited the house before it was moved.  We were there when the tide was coming in that day, and it was amazing how far the surf was coming in under the house.  Their were several surfers that day out in front of the house, and some had actually put their boards up under the back of the house where it looked like there was a storage area at one time.  My sister laughed at me when I looked up at the house only to imagine Richard standing on the porch.  It is so great that the new owners took on the great adventure of saving this beautiful place.  I can only imagine what it must look like inside.  I took several pictures of the house and the wedding flowers on the front of the house and thought what a beautiful place to have such a romantic time.  Maybe someday I can afford a week in this beautiful place.  Thank you for sharing the pictures and the stories.

Statesville, N.C.

I loved reading about the wedding and seeing all the photos.  I am so happy for the couple. They look so much in love.  I, too, read the book saw the movie numerous times and even own the DVD!  We vacation twice a year in Rodanthe. We watched the house being moved and everything that was going on with the renovations.  We checked out the new location when we were down in August and hope to have a chance to stay there some day.

Mayretta Schneider
Gibbsboro, N.J.

Cedar Island and Swan Quarter ferry runs maybe limited for several days

A couple of comments on story. Although the comments are on information apparently provided by others.

"The first new ferry, approved Oct. 1, 2009, by the Board of Transportation, will cost $13 million and is federally funded, Wallace said. The second one was approved Oct. 4 for $14.9 million, and was made possible through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds."

ARRA funds are also federal funds, so I'm not sure I see the distinction to be made here other than political points.

"While a final United States budget for fiscal year 2010-2011, which began Oct. 1, has not yet been passed, dredging is funded under a “continuing resolution” of the U.S. Senate, enabling government services to continue while the new budget is hammered out, Schmitt said."

A continuing resolution is actually passed by both Houses of Congress, rather than just the Senate. In fact, I believe a financial bill, such as a continuing resolution must originate in the House of Representatives.

Just a couple of tidbits towards greater accuracy.

Keith Holman
Germantown, Md.
Officials talk about emergency plan in case bridge fails again

First, I sincerely pray that my family and I are not crossing the bridge when it falls down.  Maybe they ought to put an emergency plan in place for such a disaster as that.  Second, why don't they charge a bridge toll to help pay for a new bridge?  Coming from New Jersey and having to cross the Delaware River to get anywhere, we have to pay at least a $4 bridge toll. We pay tolls everywhere.  I think people would be willing to help, so that they would be safe.

Phyllis Sullivan
Mullica Hill, N.J.

Is Bodie Island spit owned by the Park Service --  or not?

This is very interesting. My family has fished Oregon Inlet for forty-plus years and, yes, there has been a lot of change, but a deed is a deed. If the land and markers still exist, the families still own it. I just hope they continue to let us enjoy it.

Raleigh, N.C.

Vince O’Neal,  fisherman and chef,  and his family work to preserve Ocracoke’s heritage

Enjoyed the article about Vince O'Neal.  I'm proud that he and his family still are keeping up the heritage of his family with their local recipes. 

My mother was born in Ocracoke and was an O'Neal.  She loved her dear Ocracoke, and we made many visits there.  Matter of fact, I had stewed drum and potatoes last night.

Keep up the good work, Island Free Press.

Frances Baugh
Morehead City, N.C.

As an executive chef with roots in Coastal North Carolina and now cooking in the Midwest, I thank you so much for the simple, good recipe that we so enjoyed at the PONY. Now I can replicate it with fresh Lake Erie fish! Part of the reason we love the Outer Banks so much is families like the O'Neals. Thanks and keep on cookin'!

Mike McMahon
Columbus, Ohio

Hatteras Island Real Estate: What’s going on with lenders?

I agree that local lenders are your best bet.  It was the only way for us to get a loan on a property we wanted.  Big banks just wouldn't lend on the property.

Arnold, Md.

Hatteras village shipwreck appears and disappears with the shifting sands

I believe it is even more exposed now then in spring of 2009. I have update pictures that were taken Oct. 27. They are on my Facebook page. I would love to share them with you. 

Helen Pannell
Salvo, N.C.

Remembering Mr. Bob, an Ocracoke pony

It is with great delight I found the article and pictures of "Old Bob."  We discovered the OBX about 30 years ago. Our children delighted in spending sometime each summer "going home" as we loving referred to it.  We dearly love the OBX and love reading about it.  It sure has changed in our 30 years. I can just imagine what it used to be before it became a popular tourist stop.  Thank you for sharing your memories with us Yankees -- I guess we are.  Whatever, we dearly love it there and the people.  God bless you all and RIP dear Old Bob.  The ponies are one of our favorite stops when we come down.  No doubt we have seen Old Bob on one of our trips.  Thanks again.

Mary Mount
Waverly, Ohio

Coastal Harvesters plan comes together:  First a farmers market, now a community garden

What a fabulous accomplishment for a New York City girl!

Carol R. Blucher
Mamaroneck, N.Y.


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